Common Personal Injuries and How to Avoid Them

My mother has the worst luck. Recent years have seen her break her ankle and her nose in unrelated falls. Now please don’t be too concerned. This is not a woman with balance or mobility problems. This is a woman who simply doesn’t watch where she’s going… put a pothole or a curb in her path and she will surely trip and fall down.

Falls are a leading cause of injury in Canada. Falls happen so easily and so quickly; one moment you’re up and the next you’re down. A fall from full height can easily lead to sprains, strains and fractures of hips, ankles, wrists, collarbones, noses, and more. As adults, we really do take walking for granted. To avoid falls, we must simply be more careful. Common sense tells us to watch where we are going (indeed, put that cell phone away), to wear appropriate footwear and to be attentive to our surroundings. We must navigate cautiously when surfaces are slippery, lighting is poor, or terrain is rough. We must also be patient; sometimes taking two trips is indeed better than taking just one! When walking up and down stairs, we can walk (not run) and we can hold on to railings. Simple strategies make a difference.

Motor vehicle accidents are also one of the leading causes of injury in Canada. Here too, common sense strategies apply. Car accidents can be avoided by slowing down, paying attention (again, put that cell phone away), driving considerately, being aware of changing road conditions, and only ever driving while sober.

Strategies to avoid other common personal injuries can include:

• Over-exertion – be attentive to your well-being; monitor your temperature and water intake during activity; be aware of your target and maximum heart rate during exercise; find time to rest between activities; get enough sleep.
• Accidental poisoning – ensure poisonous substances are properly labelled and safely stored.
• Drugs overdose / adverse effect – keep medications in their labelled bottles and store them out of reach of children; ensure new prescriptions and drug interactions are discussed with family doctor and pharmacist.
• Burns – be aware of hot surfaces during and after use; regulate water tank temperatures; be cautious with candles and other open flames.

While we can manage our risks by being careful in our surroundings, injuries will inevitably occur. Being trained in first aid, having supplies readily accessible, and ensuring medical treatment is immediately sought when warranted will often reduce the impact of injury.

While some injuries will inevitably arise because of pure accident and without blame, others will arise as a result of the negligence of another. Recognizing the negligence of another is not often easy and there are times that fault is shared by both the injured person and another party. Is it reasonable that the parking lot had a pothole? Was that curb too high? Was that accident really my fault? Questions such as these can be best addressed by a personal injury lawyer.

If you have suffered a personal injury, it is important you seek advice from a personal injury lawyer to assist you in better understanding your rights.

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